“Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint!”
Words from my publisher on launch day. As much as I knew she was right I was still running with the competitive fire in my veins, ready to do or die to get those first-day Amazon reviews. Which I got, if you’re wondering. Cuz, competitive much?
The day after fatigue is real, but happy to say because I prepared to be in this for the long haul, I’m ready for this marathon and I’m going to help you understand how to ensure the stamina you’ll need for your book launch!
Writing a book isn’t for sissies, on many levels. It takes a warrior to write and publish a story for the world to read. It takes a warrior to then take on the new job of marketing professional, especially if they did not study marketing in school. And it takes a warrior to realize you don’t go out there with all you have in round one and waste yourself in the first day. Endurance athletes (like authors) train to win the marathon.
Since self-publishing my first memoir in 2012 I’d like to say I learned a lot, but I knew very little about marketing back then. I signed up with Balboa Press and they did the parts I didn’t know how to do. I paid them to do it. It was a great situation for a beginner. My platform was small, as was my amount of experience. I did all the marketing alone. I couldn’t afford their higher-end packages that would have done that part for me.
I quickly learned that doing everything by myself was not only tiring, but not going to sustain me in the long run. My mom bought that first book. My friend held a book signing in her home for me. Not sure how many book sales I had after that. I didn’t understand the Amazon stats. I didn’t understand about platforms. I had no formal launch team. I had a book and I had a lot of passion. But it takes more than passion to run a marathon. A lot more.
The four poetry journals came next and they were for sure another passion project. This time a friend and I used Create Space, Amazon’s self publishing company. Having an artist on my team was helpful. She knew how to design a beautiful front cover, and how to design and upload the document to Create Space. The collaboration felt great. I still didn’t have a big enough platform or marketing knowledge to really do those journals justice.
The journals were collaborations with three other women artists. When I got the idea I was excited. My poetry with their artwork. Win win for us, and for our marketing efforts. I was helping them get exposure and they would help me by selling books. I liked the idea so much that the third journal ended up being a 30-person collaboration. Lots of exposure for everyone. But I never trained for the marathon I need to be able to run after each of those journals was born. So they petered out slowly over time.
I then participated in three other co-authored book projects that other people organized. A couple of them promised Amazon Best Seller Status, and achieved it. That made me curious and excited. I knew about the win win win of collaboration on a book. These books took multiple authors and a fee, and figured out a marketing strategy that allowed them all to put that little gold symbol on their resume.
I ended up watching a marketing effort for those collaborations that felt a lot like sprinting. And so I was learning to sprint. But I was also getting more experience, doing a crap ton of blogging, learning everything I could by taking classes and asking questions, going to writing retreats and watching others work their books.
Then came the real training. The training that would get me the stamina I have today.
Because I knew I loved being an author, that I had another book (or a few) in me, and that my passion and enthusiasm for this wasn’t waning, I started working harder at building relationships, my writing, my business and my platform.
I was stepping (cannon-balling actually) into alignment with the passion and fine tuning my ideal reader. I was creating from that energetic space and being unapologetic about keeping my vibe high as well as out loud.
I did B-School, The Lucky Bitch Money Boot Camp, Haven writing retreats (I and II), the Freedom Machine blogging course, and got coaching for my business and my speaking skills. I was serious about my training this time. I implemented the homework. I took a lot of action, made a ton of mistakes, and kept going. And going. And going. Despite the inner critic voices. Despite the public comments. Despite my own worth still floundering a bit.
This started to work. Everything I’d do in that couple years would end up benefitting me come launch day for my new book. Every law of attraction practice, every conversation with a soul sister, every hands-shaking talk I’d do, every class I’d teach, every connection I’d make, blog I’d read, poem I’d recite, workshop I’d take, and vulnerable confession I’d make to my friends, and colleagues would nudge me a little closer to a badass status of stamina, positivity and determination.
What I have now that I didn’t back then, other than more experience and knowledge, are these:
5 things that will help you build stamina for the marathon of marketing your book:
1. Feelings of worthiness
2. A bigger platform
3. A badass AF community
4. An unapologetic attitude
5. Fearless and disciplined marketing efforts
Your Worth is First
Whatever it takes, whatever healing you need to do, whatever conversations you need to have to rediscover the worth you lost as a child, do it. Do it and don’t look back. Don’t let the past define your now. Grab your worth with two hands, tuck it back into your soul for safe keeping and then set your boundaries to make sure it’s not compromised ever again.
Wake up to the fact that you were born, so you’re worthy. You’re going to need that worth when your message is out loud and you’re trying to figure out how the heck you share your book baby with other people and not sound “too sales-y.”
In fact, pay close attention to all the inner critic voices. All the “I’m not good enoughs” and “You’re too much” voices. Don’t let them in. Don’t believe them for one hot second. Recognize their old, conditioned tone, thank them for their concern, and send them away. It’s this fierce practice of awareness that will help you feel worthy and begin marketing your book like a madwoman. A badass, hippie warrior of love and gratitude madwoman.
Your Platform is Key
I resisted this, like any “can’t toot my own horn” good girl would do. And it hurt me and my books. If I’d figured out how to grow my email list and social media followings and implement those tools right away, my platform would be three times the size by now and I’d be booked on Oprah. (Still holding out for that possibility).
Pick an email server and sign up. Start putting that opt-in everywhere. Start writing to your people. Do all of that before you feel ready or think you have anything to say. I can help you with ideas — get with me.
Start speaking. Like in front of people. Get your face and energy out of the house and give those gifts to people in person. Practice making your offers. It’s easy to hide behind your computer (I did for like ten years) but it’s limiting. When you get out into your local community and build your platform from there everything expands and grows. The energy is real.
Build a platform of your ideal clients. Don’t know who that is? You need to do some work around this, but you don’t need to delay building your platform. Research it while you’re creating your platform. It will shift along the way. The closer you get to your very specific ideal client, the faster you’ll see the numbers grow.
If you’re taking to everybody, you’re talking to nobody. Don’t be so inclusive you lose out here. It’s okay to define your person down to the drink they like in the morning.
Be afraid and do it anyway. All of this.
Your Big Badass Community will Take you Everywhere You Want to Go
I worked on being an active, caring, authentic part of several communities before the book launch; all ideal clients, by the way. I hand-picked the places I wanted to spend my time and energy and build relationships based on who I really want to serve. For me it is other healers getting their words and messages out loud in the world in a bigger way.
When you create relationships that are genuine and you nourish them, you’ll have an interested, on purpose, badass fan base when your book comes out. You create communities by engaging and offering your authentic self. You create community by caring about other people and helping them share their things. You create your amazing community, both online and offline, by asking questions, communicating with others, practicing sharing your message and then doing it more and more.
You can not have a successful book launch without a lot of people helping you out. Start getting involved now. You’ll thank me later. Dream up collaborations and ask. Say yes to others who want to help.
Here are some amazing communities that helped me:
Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude in Life
Attitude, including a daily mindset practice, is going to be necessary and powerful. If you dwell in worst case or negativity, do a check on your own thinking. If you think it, it’s true for you. Don’t believe everything you think. When you go at things from a positive, on purpose, generous, grateful, love-filled place, you’ll attract all of those things with your vibe. You elevate yourself by vibing elevated thoughts, feelings and beliefs. In the world of books, if you think it’s going to be hard, guess what it will be?
A daily mindset awareness practice is going to serve you well. Start paying attention to the messages you’re listening to in your own head. Are they true? Start asking big questions and busting up old, habitual, unhelpful beliefs. Replace them with new, better, healthier, more positive ones. You must act “as if,” until it’s so. You must be relentless, fearless and unapologetic about this. You must not quit.
You’ll get knocked down by people who are used to the old you. Don’t listen. You’ll challenge yourself, especially when you’re triggered. Don’t fall for it. You’ll fall into your old patterns, some days much more easily than others. Don’t fall too far before you recognize and shut down those old messages.
Start collecting positive quotes and affirmations or mantras in a notebook. Practice reading them out loud to yourself and repeating them in your head throughout the day. Here are some for you to start with:
I’m a brave writer
This book is going to help so many people
I’m a warrior for getting my message into the world
Someone out there needs to hear my message, exactly how only I can tell it
This hasn’t been written by me yet
I have everything I need for this book to be a success
I can figure out everything I don’t know about this process
I’m really excited about this book
This is going to be an amazing journey
You can add to this list as you go. The more the better. Don’t forget to pull out your notebook when you’re feeling less than, and read them out loud to yourself!
If You Don’t Sell Your Book Nobody Will Read it
Time to be fearless and consistent about your marketing efforts. Time to learn the ropes. Time to implement all the tricks and tools you’ve learned. Time to put your message out there and don’t look back.
Being fearless and disciplined about your marketing is what’s necessary to feel stamina when it comes to your book and the message you’re sharing. It’s a combination of worth, confidence, and sharing your message often and regularly, for the rest of your life, or until you decide to focus on something else.
Most writers aren’t marketing professionals, so we try to learn those tricks along the way. But you know there are whole companies who do that, right? You can’t expect to know everything there is to know. But you can learn, get some coaching, hire a marketing professional, and read everything you can get your hands on.
Pay attention to how the people you love to buy from are marketing their stuff. What made you click “buy?” How did they write their sales page? What did you love about their bio? This will give you clues about how you want to do yours. What are you absolutely turned off by in other people’s marketing? Sometimes it’s nice to know what you don’t like, so you can focus on what you like.
Be fearless about sharing your message. If you don’t, that one person who’s life would be changed by you, might not ever know what you have to offer. Share your book from a place of “Who will I help?” Not from fear of what people will say about you. Share from hope, purpose and positivity. Not fear or unworthiness. The energy with which you share matters. Do an energy check before you write or speak about your book. Ask yourself “What can I offer this person (or audience) when it comes to my message?”
And then share, and share, and share. Until you die. LOL or something like that.
Be creative and try different ways to share your message. Collaborate with others to help you share your message. The idea is to be consistent. Without consistent effort you’ll feel the energy drop and the book sales decline.
If you’re looking for more ways to market and share your books, I’m here for you. Get with me.
Okay, I’ve written a lot about this, but there’s so much more to share. Do you all have any tips to share? Please add what’s worked for you in the comments. Paralyzed by inner critic thoughts? Share with us what they are and let us help you bust them up. Your story matters. Time to be brave and share it with the world!
Oh, by the way — MY NEW BOOK IS OUT!
It’s called Brave Healing, a Guide for Your Journey
Looking for a guide on your healing journey to take you from feeling unworthy and fearful to confident and badass? You’ll find that HERE.
Laura Di Franco, MPT is the owner of Brave Healer Productions. She’s a published poet and author, inspirational speaker, holistic physical therapist and third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do with over two decades of experience in healing. Praised as “our favorite class” by The Writer’s Center, her brave, intuitive writing and healing workshops are the reason she was born. She helps healers get their badass, authentic voice published in order to heal the world with their words. Her new book, Brave Healing; a Guide for Your Journey is due out June 1st! www.BraveHealer.com is where you can grab a free 30-minute call with her to learn how your story will heal the world.